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How Can Parkinson’s Patients Gain Weight

Skin Problems In Parkinsons Disease

Many people with PD experience skin problems, including dry skin, oily skin, redness, dandruff, excessive sweating, or too little perspiration. There are several topical treatments and lifestyle approaches that can help with these skin conditions.1

In addition, people with PD are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. One type of skin cancer, , is more likely to spread from the skin to other organs in the body, and research studies have suggested that the risk of developing malignant melanoma is 2-7 times higher in people with PD compared to the general population. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in melanoma, and people with PD should visit a dermatologist for regular screening.1

Increased Resting Energy Expenditure

Using indirect calorimetric methods, Levi et al. and Markus et al. consistently observed increased REE, which was significantly associated with muscle rigidity, both in the untreated state and treated state . In consistency with the results, Marianna et al also found that REE was higher in the off state, and could be decreased by 8% after dopaminergic therapy . In contrast, Delikanaki-Skaribas et al. and Toth et al. reported that there was no difference in REE between neither PD patients and healthy controls nor weight loss and weight stable PD patients. Moreover, according to recent data, normalization of REE may contribute to the weight gain after DBS surgery . However, other authors reported that REE remains unchanged in PD patients treated with STN-DBS .

Home Care And Caregiver Burden

Patients with PD are tend to lose independence as disease progress and require more and more assistance in everyday life . They usually need some help for managing daily living and dietary intake, such as shopping, cooking and eating. A study demonstrated that living alone was one of significant predictors of malnutrition , implying the potential role of health care in body weight in PD. On the other hand, patients care is burdensome and time investment, which have negative impact on the caregivers’ health status . In AD, caregiver burden has been considered as an independent risk of factors for weight loss even in a short-term . To date, there are no studies investigating the correlation between caregiver burden and weight loss in patients with PD.

Dopaminergic Control Of Eating Behavior

The hypothalamic control of food intake is modulated by the dopaminergic system and both systems are modulated by homeostatic orexigenic and anorexigenic signals such as ghrelin and leptin . Dopamine and the dopamine D2 receptor play a central role in motivated behavior including feeding behavior . However, the role of the dopaminergic system in feeding behavior is very complex and not completely understood. It seems to exert different actions in separate circuits and in the pattern of release .

Exposure to food and food-related cues results in an activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system and especially the projection from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens . This led to the hypothesis that the mesolimbic dopamine system mediated pleasure associated with eating . This idea is strongly challenged since it was shown that dopaminergic depletion of nucleus accumbens does not blunt the hedonic response to pleasant food and dopamine is not required for liking of food . In line with these results, dopamine-deficient mice still demonstrate a marked preference for sucrose over water .

These observations led to the reward deficiency hypothesis for overeating. According to this hypothesis, overeating may be considered as a therapy of low dopaminergic state leading to weight gain and obesity . However, as stated by Berridge et al. , the decrease of D2 receptors in obesity could also be a downregulation following overeating.

Strategies For Maintaining A Stable Body Weight In Pd


As weight gain may be desirable or deleterious, the patients individual situation should be thoroughly evaluated. Before intervention the following factors should be assessed:

  • Actual BMI and previous weight loss, normal weight, previous fluctuations of body weight, and eating disorders.

  • Estimation of pre- and post-surgery EE: motor symptoms, dyskinesia, physical activity.

  • Actual alimentation, eating habits, and eating disorders.

  • Psychological assessment: apathy, depression, hyperactivity.

  • Quality of sleep .

In DBS patients, nutritional intervention has been shown to be effective and should be performed routinely . As weight gain occurs essentially in the first months after surgery, information and dietetic guidance of the patient should start before surgery. As energy requirement is often diminished after successful surgery, an energy-reduced diet should take place and be maintained lifelong. Patients should be encouraged to control their body weight regularly, to supervise their alimentation, and to practice regular physical exercise. These measures should be considered as an adaptation of lifestyle rather than short-time diet.

Concluding Remarks And Future Perspectives

Increasing evidence has suggested weight loss is commonly observed in patients with PD. Notably, with the global epidemic of obesity and increased application of modern therapeutic measures such as dopamine agonists and DBS, normal weight even overweight may be also frequently reported in PD patients nowadays. An early identification of patients at risk of weight loss might be of some help to develop measures to prevent weight loss. Recently, only two groups of researchers have assessed profile of weight changes in PD patients among PD subtypes . According to the studies, the anosmic group and non-tremor dominant subtypes are associated with weight loss in PD among the different phenotypes respectively. Hence, early detection of olfaction impairment may be predictions for weight loss in the early phase of PD although further corroboration is needed in the future.

Weight loss is not an independent pathogenesis but seems to be coupled with PD pathogenesis as demonstrated in AD . In AD, weight loss is one of the criteria for the clinical diagnosis of dementia. Likewise, in the context of PD, weight loss may precede the motor symptoms and be considered as an index for disease progress. To address the crosstalk between weight loss and PD is quite necessary and metabolic manipulation may provide a therapeutic alternative in the treatment of PD in the future.

How Does Fibre Help

Fibre absorbs fluid as it moves through your bowel, forming a soft stool that can be passed more easily.

It is very important to increase your fluid intake if you increase the fibre in your diet, because too much fibre without enough fluid can increase constipation.

A dietitian can give you more information and advice.

How can I increase my fibre intake?

Fibre is found in cereals, seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables and pulses, such as peas, beans and lentils. To increase your fibre intake you can try:

  • eating high-fibre varieties of foods, such as wholemeal bread, pasta or brown rice
  • altering recipes to use some wholemeal flour instead of all white flour
  • choosing a breakfast cereal containing wheat, wheatbran or oats, such as Weetabix, porridge or bran flakes
  • eating more vegetables. They can be raw or cooked, fresh or frozen. Try using more peas, beans or lentils
  • eating more fruit. It can be fresh, stewed, tinned or dried. Try bananas, oranges or prunes
  • gradually introducing ground linseeds. You can add 1 teaspoon to cereals, salads or yoghurts to start with and increase this over time to 1 tablespoon. If you do this, make sure you drink an extra glass of fluid a day, otherwise it wont work and may make constipation worse

When increasing your intake of fibre, it is important to do so gradually to avoid bloating or flatulence . Aim to introduce 1 new high-fibre food every 3 days.

Find out about speech and language therapyand .

Greater Risk Of Dementia Death

For their analysis, the researchers included 187 people with Parkinsons disease and 88 people with atypical parkinsonism. These individuals were matched by age and sex with 240 controls, who were free of Parkinsons disease or Parkinsons-like symptoms.

Over a follow-up period of up to 10 years, the weight of each subject was assessed annually. For the purposes of the study, clinically significant weight loss during follow-up was defined as losing 5 percent or more of baseline body weight.

The team investigated how clinically significant weight loss affected three outcomes among the participants: dependency on carers, the onset of , and mortality.

The study revealed that people with Parkinsons disease and atypical parkinsonism were a lower weight at study baseline than controls, and they lost weight much more rapidly during follow-up.

Weight loss was observed in all groups over time, but patients with PD lost weight more rapidly than controls, and those with atypical parkinsonism lost weight most rapidly, the researchers note.

What is more, the team found that early weight loss among individuals with Parkinsons disease or atypical parkinsonism was independently associated with a 2.23-times increased risk of dementia and a 1.23-times greater risk of death.

Additionally, weight loss in the first year after a Parkinsons or atypical parkinsonism diagnosis was associated with greater dependency on carers.

Effects Of Parkinsons Disease

The following are the effects of Parkinsons disease in weight loss:

  • Weakness.
  • Tiredness.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • mineral density reduces in bones, which creates a situation of thinning the bones, making it difficult for the patient suffering from back in since disease to have resistance and the strength to prevent fractures.

Weight Loss And Impact On Quality Of Life In Parkinsons Disease

  • Affiliation Department of Neurology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Mathematics, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation National Parkinson Foundation, Miami, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America

Lately Ive Been Having A Lot Of Trouble With Chewing And Swallowing It Makes It Really Difficult To Eat What Can I Do

This is a common problem many people with Parkinsons struggle with. One thing you can do is to work with your foods consistency and consider softer food, like applesauce or slow-cooked meats. It can also help to add moisture to foods with gravy or sauce so that your food is easier to swallow.

Another option is to partially blend your meal. You can do this by putting 75% of your meal in the blender and saving the rest to eat as solid food. Crock pots are also great for cooking meats or vegetables so that they are really tender and easy to swallow. If you have trouble swallowing liquids, you can thicken fluid with things like applesauce. You can also consider meeting with a speech-language therapist to find specific ways to improve your chewing and swallowing.

I Keep Losing Weight Whats Happening And What Can I Do About It

Weight loss is a common side effect of Parkinsons. In fact, in many cases, weight loss precedes motor symptoms and is considered an index for Parkinsons progression. There are a variety of potential causes at play such as overall malnutrition, increased energy output and decreased energy input and problems with nausea or vomiting and lack of appetite. The best thing to do if you have unwanted weight loss is to talk to your doctor about creating a plan to manage your caloric intake. Creating a meal plan to gain and then maintain your weight will vary by individual, but avocados, shakes, smoothies, nuts, and seeds are all simple ways to consider adding nutritional calories to your diet. If loss of smell is a problem for you, you can also consider using more spices to make your food taste better.

Parkinson TV Nutrition and Parkinsons: Episode 3

Prognosis Of Clinically Significant Weight Loss In Parkinsonism

Pin on Weight Gain

In our parkinsonian cohort , 85 were dependent at baseline, 43 developed dependency by year 1, 97 developed dependency during later follow-up, and 50 remained independent; 43 had dementia at baseline, 11 developed dementia by year 1, 57 developed dementia during follow-up, and 164 did not develop dementia. There were 162 deaths. The variables included and excluded from the models of outcomes of weight loss are listed in .

Sustained clinically significant weight loss within the first year of diagnosis was independently strongly associated with subsequent dementia and mortality and was associated with dependency . There was no evidence that the effect of sustained clinically significant weight loss on these outcomes was modified by parkinsonian diagnoses . None of the associations changed if vascular parkinsonism was excluded.

When You Have No Appetite

Some days, you just may not feel like eating at all.

Talk to your doctor. Sometimes, depression can cause poor appetite. Your hunger likely will return when you get treatment.

Walk or do another light activity to rev up your appetite.

Drink beverages after youve finished eating so you dont feel full before the meal.

Include your favorite foods in your menu. Eat the high-calorie foods on your plate first. But avoid empty calories from sugary sodas, candies, and chips.

Perk up your meals by trying different dishes and ingredients.

Choose high-protein and high-calorie snacks, including:

  • Ice cream

Cognitive Impairment And Depression

The dementia is more common and severe in the late stages, the prevalence of which is about 20% of PD cases in cross-sectional studies and 80% in longitudinal studies . Furthermore, mild cognitive impairment may be present early in the course of PD. The characteristics of cognitive impairments in PD are attention, executive dysfunction and visuospatial processing deficits , which may be implicated in eating behavior. Several studies have indicated that PD patients with impaired cognitive function tend to be at increased risk of weight loss , while another study has not observed this correlation . It is important to note that some studies excluded patients with dementia or cognitive dysfunctions from their sample and this exclusion criterion might sweep the relation between cognitive decline and weight loss under the carpet. Intriguingly, although patients treated with DBS may experience weight gain during a follow-up period, subtle cognitive declines has been announced after the surgery by some studies . This cognitive side-effect questions the effect of cognition on weight loss in PD. Thus, further studies are needed to corroborate the relation between cognition and weight loss in PD. Since cognitive deficits progress with the disease, a long observation time would be needed and patients with different severities of cognitive decline should be included.

Energy Homeostatic Centers Dysfunction

Apart from hypothalamus, the locus coreruleus is also thought to be an important homeostatic control center , which interacts with hypothalamus via afferent and efferent fibers. LC degeneration has been observed in human postmortem studies . The effect of LC degeneration on weight change in PD was corroborated in the 6-OHDA rat model . According to the study, weight loss was observed only in rat with lesion of the LC and striatum compared to lesion of striatum alone, while chronic DBS-STN abolished the weight variation.

Weight Changes In Pre

In prospective American cohort or casecontrol and Chinese epidemiological studies, a decrease of body weight was reported several years prior to diagnosis .1). On the other hand, large Finnish and Japanese cohort studies reported a weight gain in pre-diagnostic PD . The same result was found in the Honolulu Heart Program which included Americans of Japanese origin . No association between PD and BMI before or at disease onset was reported for the Greece EPIC population , the UK-based general Practice Research Database , and in Italian casecontrol studies . As degeneration of the dopaminergic system begins years before diagnosis , BMI variation may reflect a dysregulation of dopaminergic control of eating behavior rather than modification of energy metabolism in pre-motor stages of the disease. Apathy, depression, and anxiety are frequent in de novo PD and eating disorders may also appear in response to these negative emotional state. In the general population, a strong association between depression and overweight has been described which may be due to sub-threshold eating disorders described as emotional eating , increased snacking , or increased sweet preference . Alterations of eating behavior have been described in de novo PD, prior to treatment .

Forget Fava Beans For Parkinsons

Fava beans contain an amino acid known as levodopa. Levodopa is an active ingredient in some Parkinsons medications. Seems like a good reason to eat a lot of fava beans, right?

Nope. Dr. Gostkowski explains that the amount in the beans is tiny compared to whats in your medication. You cant eat enough fava beans to have any effect on your symptoms, he says.

Bananas also have levodopa in them, Dr. Gostkowski says. But, like fava beans, its not possible to eat enough bananas to affect PD symptoms. Of course, if you like fava beans or bananas, enjoy! But dont go overboard or expect them to work like medication. Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, and whole grains for balance.

I Am Overweight What Can I Do

It’s easy to gain weight if you become less active but are eating the same amount of food.

If you are trying to lose weight, here are some tips to start with:

  • Don’t eat fried food regularly grill, dry fry, microwave, bake, steam, poach or boil, without adding fat or oils. Instead, use marinades, adding extra herbs, stock and spices for flavour.
  • Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat.
  • Try eating healthier snacks like diet yoghurts, nuts, fruit, crumpets or teacakes.
  • Havesugar-free, no added sugar or low-caloriedrinks and use artificial sweetener instead of sugar.

If you have other health conditions as well as Parkinsons, such as circulation problems, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes, and are concerned about being overweight, speak to your GP, specialist, Parkinsons nurse or ask to see a registered dietitian.

Eating When Youre Tired

If you dont have energy for meals later in the day, you can:

Pick foods that are easy to fix, and save your energy for eating. If you live with your family, let them help you make your meal.

Look into a delivery service. Some grocery stores have them. Or you can check if you might be able to get food delivered from your local Meals on Wheels program for free or for a small fee.

Keep healthy snack foods on hand, like fresh fruit and vegetables or high-fiber cold cereals.

Freeze extra portions of what you cook so you have a quick meal when you feel worn out.

Rest before you eat so you can enjoy your meal. And eat your biggest meal early in the day to fuel yourself for later.

Predictors Of Weight Loss In Pd

Parkinson: weight gain after deep brain stimulation ...

Increased energy expenditure

Despite eventual weight loss, PD patients increase their energy intake by about 350kcal/day, mainly due to increased carbohydrate intake .2). This suggests that weight loss is induced by increased energy expenditure . Indeed, metabolic studies had shown that resting EE is increased in PD in ON and OFF-medication state. The main factors for this increase seem to be dyskinesia and rigidity . Consequently, when patients with severe dyskinesia were excluded, resting EE was not increased . Dyskinesia and rigidity as well as tremor may be considered as spontaneous physical activity, like standing or fidgeting. In healthy volunteers, it was shown that spontaneous physical activity may account for EE up to 700kcal/day . If this is not compensated by energy intake, weight loss is inevitable.

Mechanisms of body weight loss in PD. Mechanisms of body weight loss in Parkinsons disease according to the stage of the disease. Factors with important contribution to weight loss are dark grey.

Impaired homeostatic regulation of energy metabolism

Ghrelin, the gastric hunger hormone is reduced in PD and has even been considered as a potential biomarker of the disease . This could be due to impaired gastric mobility and contribute to weight loss in all stages of the disease . Furthermore, evidence from studies with rodents indicate that hypothalamic leptin signaling might be enhanced in PD .

Impact of dopaminergic treatment

Other factors

Can I Drink Alcohol

Theres no definite answer as to whether alcohol has any effect on the symptoms of Parkinsons; however, like caffeine, alcohol can be a bladder irritant to some. If this is the case for you, avoiding alcohol may help alleviate urinary discomfort. Similarly, alcohol late at night may interfere with your sleep and if that is a problem for you, avoiding it may help you sleep better through the night.

Why Worry About Weight Loss Associated With Pd

Weight loss has been linked to a poorer quality of life and more rapid progression of PD. The reasons for this are two-fold. On the one hand, as outlined in the list above, weight loss can be a hallmark of advancing disease as it could be a consequence of more swallowing difficulties, worsened mobility, more impaired gut function etc.

On the other hand, having weight loss can further lead to poorer health. Inadequate food intake can contribute to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Malnutrition can subsequently be the cause of increased susceptibility to infection, increased fatigue and increased frailty. The situation can spiral with more fatigue and frailty causing a further decrease in activity and function.

Osteoporosis, or porous and fragile bones, is more common in under-weight people since bone structure is dependent on weight-bearing. Since osteoporotic bones are more prone to fracture during a fall, this too can be a contributor to more disability and frailty. Bottom line is that it is important for your health to maintain a healthy weight.

Description Of Weight Change In Patients With Pd Those With Atypical Parkinsonism And Controls

Baseline characteristics and comparisons between individuals with and without sustained clinically significant weight loss are presented in . On average, atypical parkinsonian patients were older than those with PD, and there were more men. At diagnosis, patients with PD and atypical parkinsonian patients were significantly lighter than controls by 5.6 and 7.1 kg, respectively, after adjustment for age and sex . After diagnosis, weight reduced in all study groups . Mean for the decrease in weight from baseline until the last follow-up visit was 3.2 , 4.1 , and 5.0 kg in controls, patients with PD, and those with atypical parkinsonism, respectively. These data were not obviously skewed . Patients lost weight more quickly than controls . Patients with PD lost weight more quickly than controls . Patients with atypical parkinsonism lost weight more quickly than those with PD . Sustained clinically significant weight loss within the first year of diagnosis was more common in patients with atypical parkinsonism than in those with PD and controls .

Baseline characteristics of controls and parkinsonian patients with no weight loss, sustained weight loss within the first year of diagnosis, and sustained weight loss at any time throughout follow-up

Prevalence Of Malnutrition In Pd

Weight loss in PD has been reported since the first publication of James Parkinson in 1817. A recent meta-analysis on BMI in PD reported a lower BMI of PD patients than controls , which is related to disease severity . Average weight loss is about 3.6kg 8years after diagnosis or 6kg in one decade . Both fat mass and lean body mass were reported to be reduced in PD patients who lost weight . It should be outlined that a lower average BMI does not mean that many PD patients are at risk for malnutrition. In spite of a decline of body weight, during disease progression patients may be overweight . Prevalence of underweight depends on the used assessment tool and ranges from 0 to 24% , while 360% of PD patients were reported to be at risk of malnutrition . However, the use of the mini nutritional assessment, a valid nutrition assessment tool, resulted in malnutrition rates of only 02% while 2034% were at risk of malnutrition . Malnutrition is associated with disease severity .


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